The cross-country competed on the trails behind the Princeton Middle School Friday afternoon and had a very successful day. The Hornets raced against squads from Princeton and St. Francis.
Big Lake runners won both of the middle school races. Jack Leuer continued his winning ways as he blitzed the field to win by over a minute. Gavin Vold and Trent Erickson also finished in the top 10 as the team finished a close 2nd to Princeton. Cambell Slattery looked strong throughout her race as she easily won the middle school girls race. Alayna Boe, Kristen Dickson, Morgan Pearce, Ashlynn Henning, Paiton Ganley, and Brooklyn May all finished in the top 11 as the middle school girls won the team title.
The junior varsity boys race saw Austin Barzee take second overall in a dramatic photo finish with two other Princeton runners. Matthew Denzen ran an even paced race to finish in the top 5 as well.
The girls’ varsity and junior varsity races were run together with a wave start. Big Lake placed four runners in the top 10. Emilee Doperalski and Josephine Lentz ran together most of the race and pushed each other to a 3rd and 4th place finish respectively. Amelia Degen and Josie Parks had strong finishes to finish 6th and 7th. Ashlee Ogren and Grace Heider also finished in the top 11 as the Big Lake girls took home the team title, beating second place Princeton by 15 points!
In the boys varsity race, Kade Layton hammered the field to run an impressive 16:36 for the 5k distance. Owen Layton took 2nd and finished in front of 3rd place by almost half a minute. Spencer Vold had a late surge to catch a Princeton athlete at the line to finish 10th. The boys finished second to Princeton, last years Mississippi 8 Conference Champions, by only 5 points.
The coaches were very impressed by what they saw. “Our runners have been working very hard in practice,” said a very happy Coach Trutna. “You can tell many of these athletes put their miles in this summer and have come into the season ready to go. I knew our boys’ team was going to be tough to beat this year, but I am so excited for the girls’ team. All the girls are running so much better than last year. It is great to see their confidence grow and for them to reap the rewards of their hard work.”